Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grandma Minnie's Graham Cracker Pie

I was so thrilled to get my newest cookbook - I found it online at Amazon... the used book seller was a Goodwill somewhere and it only cost $0.19 (plus shipping of course).  Its the Farmer's Wife Cookbook which is a collection of recipes from this old school magazine of the same name. The recipes are from 1893 - 1939.

As kids we called it "Grandma Cracker Pie"

This cookbook is the only place that I've ever found that even remotely references my Grandma Minnie's Graham Cracker Pie.  As kids we'd fight over who got the biggest piece of this old timey, beautifully simple pie.
See how big duck egg yolks are?

One of the things I like most about the Farmer's Wife Cookbook is that it makes sense. Most of the ingredients for this pie came right out a typical farmer's yard...milk, cream, eggs...what else do you need? And instead of wasting the egg whites left over from the custard... you just use them to make a beautiful meringue. Yep, just like this chocolate pie from the other day. This kind of no-nonsense thinking was one of the reasons that many families had successful farms. They used what they had and didn't waste anything. Neither did my Grandma Minnie.

The steps are simple. The Farmer's Wife Cookbook provides the graham cracker crust recipe on one page, the custard on the next, and a use-for-everything meringue a few pages later.

Crushed graham crackers and melted butter are an easy crust when pressed into a pie plate.

Beat the egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch separately, then temper the eggs with the hot milk and cream.

I used 3 duck eggs and one big chicken egg, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch to make the cooked custard.  Remember to temper your eggs like Cheeseslave does here so you don't end up with a pan of scrambled eggs.  Don't forget to add a dash of nutmeg and a splash of vanilla at the end.

Then just pour the custard into the pie crust, whip up the meringue and pop into a 350* oven for about 15 minutes. Cool completely...or you know, just eat it with a spoon. Of course, its always better the next day.

Just a few easy steps to get this gorgeous custard pie, Little Mo (in background) not included.

I was so thrilled to make Grandma Minnie's Graham Cracker Pie recipe! I learned to cook at my Grandma Minnie's side. I was very young and I'm so glad she had the patience to let me help her. But Grandma was like that. She had 7 children, 20-some grands and I don't even know most of the great-grands. She was truly an inspiration. I could only ever hope to be a shadow of her lovingkindness.

Grandma Minnie never had a concept of "me time" - her entire life was spent serving, guiding, providing, and loving her family. And she always loved us kids - even if we didn't deserve it. As far as I know she never spoke an unkind word to anyone or about anyone. Every morning of their 50+ years together Grandma made breakfast for my grandfather before they went to work together at their little country store. She always made sure there were treats in the house for us. This pie was one of our favorites. Just a simple custard pie. She used what she had and never wasted anything. Grandma Minnie lived a good long time and was adored by all of us. Thanks Grandma - and thanks to all the old timey farm wives for this lovely little cookbook.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Isn't it a great day to say... make some pie?


Diana said...

That looks soooo good! I am a big fan of custard.

David said...

Did it make it to the next day?
Thanks for the memories, love these stories.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Diana - its just the right amount of sweet and creamy. Just love it!

Thanks D, I'm sure you had a grandma like that too.

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